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Detainee flights to Cuba to resume

U.S. Marines keep watch over Camp X-Ray, where Afghan war detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
U.S. Marines keep watch over Camp X-Ray, where Afghan war detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has approved the resumption of flights of detainees from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sources said Monday.

The first flight is likely to take place in the next few days as soon as a transport plane can be sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The sources said Rumsfeld made the decision because concerns over several issues have been resolved at Camp X-Ray, the temporary detention facility. More cells have been constructed, and additional U.S. military personnel have been sent to handle the increased detainee population.

There are 158 detainees in U.S. custody in Cuba and 324 in Afghanistan.

Still unresolved is the controversial issue of whether the detainees legally will fall under the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of prisoners of war.

The Bush administration has labeled the detainees "unlawful combatants" because, it says, most of them belonged to a criminal organization and not a recognized army. Human right groups have criticized this position.

Speaking to U.S. forces at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, President Bush praised the military for its fight against terrorism and said the United States is now focusing on capturing terrorists.

"We're working on our next objective, and that's to run down al Qaeda and the rest of the terrorists and maybe give them a free trip to Guantanamo Bay," Bush said.



 
 
 
 



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